THE LIBRARY OF THE
AT CHAPEL HILL
THE COLLECTION OF
UNC Planning Library
"We might not be primarily a
Utopia, but we do have a concept
at Soul City that can be a prime
means to revitalize blighted rural
areas and stem migration to the
large urban areas."
FLOYD B. McKISSICK
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SOUL CITY CORPORATE STRUCTURE AND
The Soul City Company 5
Floyd B. McKissick Enterprises, Inc. 5
The Soul City Sanitary District 5
The Soul City Utilities Company 6
The Soul City Parks and Recreation
The Soul City Foundation, Inc. 6
The Warren Regional Planning Corporation 8
HealthCo., Inc. 9
Soul City Investment Corporation 10
DEVELOPMENT PLANS 10
The Three-Year Plan 12
The Thirty-Year Plan 12
Soul City is the first rural new town to receive a commitment of Federal
assistance. It is the first new community in which the principal sponsor is
a black-owned firm, Floyd B. McKissick Enterprises, Inc. And according to the
Washington Post , "It is perhaps the most vital experiment yet in this country's
halting struggle against the cancer of hectic urbanization".
After four years of concentrated work, a major breakthrough occurred in
July, 1972, when Soul City was granted a $14 million guarantee by the United
States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The guarantee came under
Title VII of the United States Urban Growth and New Communities Act of 1968
(as amended in 1970), the purpose of which was to encourage new town development.
In December, 1973, the final HUD negotiations were completed, and on March 6, 1974,
the first $5 million of Soul City bonds were sold in less than two hours on Wall
The Soul City tract is located near the community of Manson in Warren County,
North Carolina. Warren County is part of the Kerr-Tar Region made up of five
counties (Granville, Person, Vance, Franklin and Warren). The region is devoid
of any major metropolitan area, and Soul City is one hour away from the major
population concentrations of Raleigh and Durham. The economy of the area is in
a state of flux, shifting from an agrarian base to manufacturing. The largest
town in the region is Henderson, approximately ten miles away from Soul City.
Unlike other new towns, Soul City cannot depend upon any major existing
population nearby to consume its services for it is a free-standing new
community. It will have to draw and attract people to the area, through the
development of its own economic base. Presently incomes are low, and skills of
the labor force are minimal. Additionally, out-migration of younger people has
been high, with Warren County leading the state in net out-migration. As a free-
standing town, Soul City will have to utilize the considerable resources—trans-
portation, water, and labor—presently located in the region to attract industry.
The location of industries will have a multiplier effect on population and jobs,
thus creating a demand for services the new town can offer.
Soul City was conceived by Floyd B. McKissick, attorney and prominent civil
rights leader, as a means of reversing out-migration of poor and minority groups to
urban areas. Mr. McKissick perceived that through a concentrated program of
providing jobs, education, training, housing and other social services, you could
reverse migration, provide people with skills, increase incomes, and most important,
enhance the quality of life for individuals who previously might have lost hope in
their ability to achieve.
Thus, Soul City is intended to be a town open to all, but placing a special
emphasis on providing opportunities for poor and minority groups. Its location
in a semi -depressed area, with a concentration of minority and poor people was
by design in order to assess directly the impact a new town development would
have on these goals.
The multiracial community of Soul City is projected to have 24,000 jobs
and a population of 44,000 by the year 2004. It is expected that Soul City's
residents will be younger than those of the surrounding region, with household
heads primarily in the 25-44 age bracket. Much of the basic physical planning for
this new community has been completed, road construction has been started,
underground utilities will soon be under construction, and a regional water system
(with neighboring towns of Oxford and Henderson) will be operative within three
years. Construction of HealthCo's facilities for a comprehensive health delivery
system for the area and construction of Soul tech I, an industrial incubator to
encourage small business development, are scheduled to begin in the near future.
Negotiations with several industries planning to locate in Soul City will be
completed soon. Plans for economic development are now being coordinated with
housing plans, so that upon completion of the first industrial facility, housing
will be completed, and municipal and other services will be available to residents.
While the development of Soul City is occurring in an area which is now
severely depressed, the advantages for development are very great. The terrain is
low and rolling, with streams, small ponds and evergreens interspersed in the
landscape; the soil is sound, and the weather mild. Transportation is excellent.
The Seaboard Coastline Railway runs through the Employment Park. Interstate
Highway 1-85 is one mile from the site and 1-95 is approximately 40 miles to the
east. U.S. 1 and 158 run on the northern periphery of the site. Thus, Soul City
is connected with the major metropolitan markets in the Industrial Piedmont and
the Eastern Seaboard. Kerr Lake gives the area abundant water and the potential for
becoming an important outdoor recreation center. Three of the State's major
universities and cultural centers, along with the State Capitol, are within one and
one-half hours' driving distance. And the area has an available and trainable
labor force, which to date has been under-utilized and underemployed.
These advantages, combined with the trend of manufacturers to locate in small
towns and communities to reduce expenses, give Soul City a great potential for
development as an industrial urban center. The continued national demand for products
manufactured in the region—textiles, apparel, wood furniture components, and
processed agricultural products-- make the industrial outlook positive.
But the major advantage of Soul City--to both the immediate area and to all
Americans—is the opportunity it provides to develop a model community, economically
sound and free of racism, in which all people regardless of race, color, or
economic status will be welcome to find the opportunity for self-development and
freedom. The goal of Soul City is to improve the quality of life for residents of
the rural and depressed North Carolina counties which make up its environs, to offer
a life of opportunity and fulfillment to those who wish to return to rural North
Carolina from an equally deprived if different existence in the cities, and to
provide a chance to all to bring their skills, participate in building, and enjoy
the fruits of an urban center in a rural setting, with the urban amenities of housing,
business, industry and services, the tranquillity of rural life, and the social and
cultural advantages of a model community.
1 — 1
1 — 1
1 — 1
l — i
1 — 1
1 — 1
i — i
i — i
> <: _i
+J J= < r—
SOUL CITY CORPORATE STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS
THE SOUL CITY COMPANY
In February, 1974, The Soul City Company was created by Floyd B. McKissick
Enterprises, Inc., to develop the new community of Soul City, North Carolina. As
the developer, The Soul City Company is responsible for the orderly growth of the
new town according to schedules laid down in the three-year and thirty-year plans,
as approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. A
primary function of the new company is the physical development of Soul City; in
addition, it provides overall coordination for the Soul City agencies.
The Soul City Company is a limited partnership made up of Floyd B. McKissick
Enterprises, Inc.; the National Housing Partnership, a unique private organization
created by Congress under the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 to stimulate
the production by private enterprise of low and moderate- income housing; and MMI,
Inc., a division of Madison-Madison International, Planners and Architects, with
offices at Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Gary, Indiana. Among the many ventures
of Madison-Madison International have been the engineering and design of the United
States Embassy at Dakar, Senegal, Africa; the Justice Center at Cleveland; the
master plan for the Wilberforce University at Ohio; the International Bank of
Washington, D.C.; and numerous other residential, educational and institutional
FLOYD B. McKISSICK ENTERPRISES, INC.
Floyd B. McKissick Enterprises, Inc., is the oldest of the many organizations
helping to build Soul City. Originally based in New York, McKissick Enterprises
has engaged in a number of ventures, including the Thunder and Lightning Publishing
Company, the Mount Vernon Shopping Center and development of community Black
theatre. In 1968, McKissick Enterprises began land negotiations for a site for
Soul City. Home office for McKissick Enterprises in now located in the new town and
all staff energies are directed towards one goal— the development of the new
community, Soul City.
THE SOUL CITY SANITARY DISTRICT
On May 23, 1973, the Soul City Sanitary District was established as the first
unit of local government for the new town. The Sanitary District is voter-controlled
and has many of the same powers as a municipality or a county. It is able, for
example, to build and operate water treatment plants, as well as handle solid waste
collection and disposal and establish a fire department. It can also levy taxes
and issue bonds to support its operations.
The Soul City Sanitary District is currently governed by three appointed
Commissioners, Evelyn W. McKissick, Lewis Myers, and James Groom. Subsequent Boards
of Commissioners will be elected by the citizens of the Sanitary District. With funding
and funding commitments from HUD, the Sanitary District will soon begin operation of
facilities, including a water system capable of supplying Soul City for the first
THE SOUL CITY UTILITIES COMPANY
The Soul City Utilities Company is a non-profit corporation organized under
North Carolina statutes to provide water and sewer services. The Soul City Utilities
Company will construct a wastewater treatment plant which will be its first facility.
It has applied for and received a $500,000 HUD water and sewer public facilities
loan to finance plant construction. The Soul City Utilities Company plans to lease
this plant to the Soul City Sanitary District for operation and maintenance.
THE SOUL CITY PARKS AND RECREATION ASSOCIATION
In Soul City's Master Plan 30 percent of the total 5,180 acres will be devoted
to parks, open space, and recreational facilities. Of this, 574 acres will be
actively developed for Activity Centers, the golf course, neighborhood parks, and
the like; the remaining acreage will be reserved as natural open space.
Control over the orderly development of this acreage is vested in the Soul
City Parks and Recreation Association. The Association will be governed by a board
made up of representatives of the resident community and The Soul City Company.
Initially, the Association will be controlled by The Soul City Company, but as the
new town grows, the citizen component of the board will assume greater, and
ultimately total, control.
THE SOUL CITY FOUNDATION, INC.
The Soul City Foundation was established to plan, develop and implement a
broad spectrum of human and social service programs for the residents of Soul City
and its environs. The Foundation is a 501(C) 3 and 509 tax-exempt, non-profit
organization defined as a charitable and educational institution and classified as
a public foundation under Internal Revenue Codes.
The Foundation's primary long-range goal is to develop the social services,
structures and mechanisms to assure the residents of the new community of Soul City
and its environs creative and equal opportunities for self-development and full
possibilities for dynamic interaction with their society. A further aim is to provide
a range and quality of human and social services superior to and broader than those
provided by existing towns of comparable size and situation.
The second long-range goal of the Foundation is to establish the mechanisms
and means by which the new community can serve as a model for the transformation of
depressed rural areas to mixed rural-urban development, providing non-farm jobs, a
balanced environment, and an urban service base for both town and farm population.
Soul City is a unique project--the first free-standing new community in the
United States. The fact that it will be free-standing raises unique opportunities in
planning. It is the goal of the Soul City Foundation to develop solutions before the
problems occur, so that the new town will not only be equipped for the future, but
free of the mistakes of the past.
To deal with the various human needs of the residents of Soul City and the
surrounding counties, the Foundation was funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity
to initiate the planning and design of programs ranging from the development of
industrial potential and new jobs to cultural enrichment.
Specific areas of planning are: Job Training, Education, Housing, Historic
Preservation, Religious Life, Child Care, Communications, Legal Services, Economic
Development, and Cultural Arts. Planning activities are coordinated with State,
Federal, Regional and local agencies as well as with at-large community planning
Many specific projects have been planned and several are operational.
Programs for Cultural Arts, Education and Economic Development are underway and one
program, HealthCo, Inc., has been spun-off.
Soul tech I
The industrial incubator facility, Soul tech I, is an economic venture of the
Foundation designed to provide permanent employment to area residents and in-migrants
to Soul City. The building will be a contemporary structure of steel, precast
concrete and solar gray glass. The total area of 73,358 square feet will include
manufacturing and processing space as well as office space. The new facility will also
house conference and personnel training facilities. It will be served by a parking
area capable of accommodating 200 cars. The Foundation is now seeking tenants for
Soultech I, for occupancy upon completion of construction.
Soultech I is the first industrial facility to be developed in the proposed
928-acre employment park. The park will ultimately provide some 8,200 basic jobs.
The Cultural Arts Program
Cultural planning is an essential part of the overall program of the Foundation.
Through its activities the Cultural Arts Program hopes to promote self-awareness,
expose and affirm the aesthetic expression of the culturally ignored, magnify every
condition of human life, and form bridges that will span differences between cultures.
The Soul City Cultural Arts and Historical Society was formed to assist in the
development of an innovative and unique cultural arts atmosphere in Soul City. The
present program consists of performing and visual arts workshops (music, drama, dance,
and art). Additionally the Society is working to provide ewery advantage possible
for people in the Region to experience, enjoy, and profit from the arts.
The Learning Lab
Soul City's Learning Lab was funded on July 1, 1973, by the Office of Education.
The objectives of the project are to compensate for past cultural and educational
disadvantages of minority and low-income white youth and, through intensive instruction
and intellectual and cultural enrichment programs, to prepare these students to
succeed academically. Through these supplementary programs for students who are
presently failing to achieve their full academic potential, the project aims at
creating an atmosphere in the schools in which it will become easier for these
students to achieve and for their teachers to teach.
The target population for the intensive instruction and enrichment program is
132 Hawkins Junior High School students. A broader population from John Hawkins
Junior High is included in some enrichment activities.
THE WARREN REGIONAL PLANNING CORPORATION
Soul City will be the catalytic force that thrusts an entire region of North
Carolina into the economic and industrial mainstream. The task of developing and
expanding the industrial potential of Soul City falls to the Warren Regional
Planning Corporation (WRPC), a four-year old non-profit organization.
Since its inception WRPC has successfully completed a contract funded by HUD and
the State of North Carolina, to develop a comprehensive general plan for the new
community and to study the impact of Soul City on the region. WRPC, with funds
provided by the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE) U.S. Department of
Commerce, has also made a long-range industrial development plan for the area.
It has also been engaged, again with the assistance of OMBE in developing the legal,
financial, and engineering materials needed for HUD approval of Soul City.
After many years of preparation WRPC now stands ready to assist the developers
in realizing the economic goals of Soul City. Major projects scheduled for the
next years include providing technical assistance needed in the development of
industrial tracts, banks and recreational facilities, housing, health facilities,
and a commercial center. As Soul City grows, minority-owned businesses, with
expertise provided by WRPC, will find ample opportunity to flourish, unhampered by
Important in the survival and growth of any community, and of particular
significance in a developing new town, is the organization of its health
facilities. With this in mind HealthCo, Inc., was originally funded by an Office
of Economic Opportunity Grant in June, 1972, to provide health services to the
residents of Vance and Warren Counties as well as the new residents of Soul City.
The objective is to provide the highest quality of care. The emphasis is not
on crisis care but on the maintenance of health. To meet this goal the staff will
provide under a prepaid system health education, disease prevention, medical care,
and dental care--all of which must be coordinated to the needs of individual
patients and their families. These services will be housed in a half-million
dollar facility that will be completed early in 1975. Even in its design, this
facility will reflect the HealthCo principle of health with dignity. Prior to
completion of the permanent facility, services are being delivered out of an
interim clinic made up of two double mobile units.
The programs of HealthCo, Inc., are dedicated to the philosophy that health
care can be provided efficiently, with the highest quality and dignity, and with
equal access for all .
THE SOUL CITY INVESTMENT CORPORATION
One of the basic premises built into the planning of Soul City is that all
inhabitants should have a piece of the economic action. In time this idea will
result in industrial profit-sharing plans that will contribute directly to
increased productivity and job stability.
Not waiting for industry to arrive, however, the Soul City Investment Corporation
was formed in April, 1971, to put into effect this principle and since that time
has been raising capital, investigating, and carrying out investment ventures.
The Soul City Investment Corporation is a profit-making organization, owned
by members of the community from all walks of life. The Corporation's first
venture is the development of interim housing for the Soul City Project. At
the completion of this development the housing park will represent a total
investment of approximately $250,000. Future ventures include the provision of
extended housing, a restaurant/motel complex, an auto franchise, and many more.
Preparation of Soul City's master development plan is based upon three factors:
the free-standing concept, the features of the land, and Soul City's orientation to
human goals. Over a 30-year period 5,180 acres will be developed to create an
urban environment in a rural setting that will attract and hold a youthful population
from both rural and urban areas.
Soul City will eventually have 8 villages or communities with approximately
5,500 residents in each village. Each of the villages, which will be built one at
a time, will include one or more elementary schools, an activity center, and other
Soul City's free-standing location will substantially affect the pattern of
development. Since Soul City cannot depend upon major existing population to
consume its services, the prime developer— The Soul City Company— has given
industry first priority in development, for creating job opportunities is basic to
the success of Soul City.
As the number of industries grows, the town will expand its residential and
commercial areas, eventually (in 30 years) allotting a third of its land for
housing, about 18 percent for industry, 5 percent for commercial development,
11 percent for institutional use, and a sizeable 28 percent for community parks
and recreation and for natural open space.
As reported in the Ar chitectural Record, "Soul City is expected to have created
its own individual character, with the master plan to guide it. Planning concepts
in the residential villages— for example, activity centers designed as outdoor
pedestrian malls; low-income housing scattered through neighborhoods and integrated
in design and in location— and in the public areas like the town center, are intended
to equal in innovation the program for implementing the town's social goals."
Soul City: 30 Year Plan Land Use Plan
Soul City Company
Soul City, NC Land Development Summary
Date May 1973
Warren Regional Planning Corporation &
THE THREE-YEAR PLAN
During the first three years, 265 acres of Soul City will undergo intensive
development. The three year plan consists of two distinct districts: 1) an
employment park area, and 2) a residential neighborhood. The two districts are
given continuity by a 60-acre lake which will serve as buffer between the
industrial park and the residential and commercial areas of the city.
The southern boundary of the industrial area has a community park area
adjacent to the Lake. This park is intended for the use and enjoyment of the
employees, residents, and the public.
South of the lake, the first residential area will consist of approximately
350 housing units. Two-thirds of them will be multi-family units--townhouse and
garden apartments. All single-family developments are located in clusters of from
18 to 40 houses. Housing units are connected by pedestrian walkways terminating
at the Activity Center.
The Activity Center is designed as a pedestrian mall and will offer a health
service clinic, convenience commercial shopping facilities, (grocery stores, drug
stores, barber shops, etc.), recreation facilities, a child care center, and
entertainment facilities. A fire station will also be located in this area. A
tourist and office complex with lodging, entertainment, and shopping facilities
will anchor the northernmost end of the mall.
The Activity Center is within a few minutes walking distance of all housing
units. Although designed for the pedestrian, access to the Activity Center for
automotive traffic is provided from Soul City Boulevard, the main entrance in the
early development years. This area will become the "life blood" of the new town
during its infant years. Water, sewer, safety and emergency services will be
developed in conjunction with residential and industrial development.
THE THIRTY-YEAR PLAN
The master plan for Soul City developed by Warren Regional Planning Corporation
and Gantt/Huberman Associates, Architects and Planners, utilizes existing North
Carolina secondary roads that bisect the site, in particular secondary road 1100,
which connects Axtell with Manson.
Three dominant land use areas will give the town a distinct urban-type
character in a rural setting: 1) the industrial area, 2) the Soul City Plaza,
and 3) the Educational Park. The Employment Park has been concentrated at the
northern border of the site because of its accessibility to major transportation
corridors and because of the flatness of the land. Conceived as a series of
industrial parks this area will be the major employment center in Soul City.
Directly south of the Employment Park is the Soul City Plaza, the Town Center,
which is designed as a major regional shopping, office, government, entertainment
complex; the melting pot and meeting place for Soul City residents and non-residents,
ft I ■-U.:' ( v=rS
Th e third major special land use area anchors the southern end of the main
street. This is the Educational Park, which will provide all educational services
from junior high level to the university level. Elementary schools will be
located in each residential village.
Other major elements of the thirty year plan are: the Activity Centers,
residential development plans, community parks and recreation facilities, and the
Afro-American Cultural and Trade Center.
Of the 104 acres allocated for the development of activity centers, 51 are
categorized as convenience commercial. The remaining acres will house community
recreational activities, neighborhood parks, community buildings for village meetings
and social events, day care centers, churches, etc.
The eight distinct residential villages will reflect good tenant-mix in terms of
income, race, and life styles. The plan is to integrate low- income residents
inconspicuously in each village by providing housing similar in design and quality
Approximately 13,200 housing units will be built. The units will range from
single- family detached to townhouses and garden apartments to mid-rise elevator
apartments grouped near the Activity Centers and elementary schools.
Nearly 1,500 acres of land within Soul City are designated for recreational and
open space use. Five community parks will be scattered throughout the new town in
addition to the major municipal park of 150 acres. The remaining areas, over 900
acres, which are characterized by heavy tree cover and stream valleys, including
120 acres of man-made lakes, will be retained as permanent open space and
A network of public transportation connecting the prime activity area of Soul
City will be available to residents. Most of the population will be within 5
minutes walking distance of a transit stop.
For the most part pedestrian traffic will be separated from vehicular traffic.
A pedestrian and bikeway system will connect major activity points in the town.
The traffic pattern will also eliminate truck traffic inside the residential areas.
Roads, sewers, waste disposal facilities and services, power and a modern
communication system will provide the necessary physical base for the community.
All the utilities will be underground.
A regional water system will provide Soul City, Henderson and Oxford with
water from Kerr Lake. The major treatment plant will be located at the lake. At
its peak demand period in year 30, Soul City will have at its disposal in excess
of 8.8 million gallons per day.
Soul City: 30 Year Plan
Soul City Company Soul City NC
10 15 72
Warren Regional Planning Corporation and
Soul City: 30 Year Plan
Soul City Company Soul City NC
I I I
5 8 73
Warren Regional Planning Corporation and
Gantt Huberman Associates
§ Wake / x
Virginia _ _
Soul City: Regional Location Map
Soul City Company
Soul City NC
O 20 40mi
i i i i i
10 15 72
Architects and Planners Charlotte, N. C.
The Soul City Company
P. O. BOX 188
SOUL CITY, NORTH CAROLINA 27553
(919) 436-31 I 1
UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL
FOR USE ONLY IN
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION